METAPHYSICAL INTERPRETATION OF JOHN CHAPTER 15
15:1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 15:2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh it away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he cleanseth it, that it may bear more fruit.
METAPHYSICALLY stated, the Father is the God-Mind; Jesus is the individual incarnation of that Mind, here called the true vine. "Every branch in me" means the faculties of mind, and the "fruit" is the thought.
The law is that an unused faculty atrophies and withers away. This is true of everything in existence. Inertia and nonuse soon bring stagnation, corruption, death, and disintegration. We have accepted this so universally as a fact of nature that its original character as an intelligent force has been overlooked. All the teaching of the Scriptures is that a failure to use a talent or faculty meets with a reprimand from the Father-Mind. The over-careful servant who buried his talent had it taken away from him and given to the one who had increased his the most. This also has been observed in its negative aspect--a faculty overused draws its vitality from the others and eventually depletes them seriously, unless they are developed by balanced exercise. This is a law of our being, and we should regard it as an intelligent principle instead of a blind force, as we usually do.
15:3Already ye are clean because of the word which I have spoken unto you. 15:4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; so neither can ye, except ye abide in me. 15:5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for apart from me ye can do nothing. 15:6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 15:7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 15:8Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; and so shall ye be my disciples. 15:9Even as the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you: abide ye in my love. 15:10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 15:11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
15:12This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you.
The soul in conscious touch with the Father-Mind and striving to fulfill the divine law brings the power of true words to bear in the purifying and cleansing of its faculties. "Ye are clean because of the word which I have spoken unto you." The necessity of abiding in the I AM in order to bear much fruit is affirmed. When our faith attaches itself to outer things, instead of the spiritual I AM, it ceases to draw vitality from the one and only source of all life, divine Principle. The only door to this life is the I AM. This abiding is a conscious centering of the mind in the depths within us by means of repeated affirmations of our faith and trust in it. This day-by-day repeating of affirmations finally opens a channel of intelligent communication
with the silent forces at the depths of Being, thoughts and words flow forth from there, and an entirely new source of power is developed in the man.
When the thought or "word" of Truth from the supreme I AM of consciousness, becomes an abiding fact in our mind, we need no longer strive in external ways; we have but to express a deep desire in the soul and it is fulfilled. "Ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you."
This constant affirming, with faith in the I AM within us, more and more establishes us in command of the real forces of Being. The abiding in the Spirit opens up the various spiritual powers one after the other. Love is a great force that dissolves all the opposers of true thought and thus smooths all the obstacles of life. This leads to joy, another positive force that has not been bearing fruit because of the obstructions heaped upon it by our failure to fulfill the law of All-Good. This wonderful kingdom within the soul is developed through the keeping of the "commandments"; that is, the commanding, controlling, and directing of every thought according to the harmonious law of love toward others. There is no occult mystery connected with this development of the soul forces; it is simply thinking and acting in terms of the law of love in our intercourse with our fellow men.
15:13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.15:14Ye are my friends, if ye do the things which I command you. 15:15No longer do I call you servants; for the servant
knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I heard from my Father, I have made known unto you. 15:16Ye did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
In this Scripture we see Jesus realizing that His apostles had made wonderful progress and were functioning on the spiritual plane. Therefore, He no longer considered them of the world but knew definitely that henceforth they were to do the works of Him that sent them. As co-workers with Him, He called them "friends." In all His ministry Jesus taught freedom of the individual. We are not "servants" but agents free to do as we will.
15:17These things I command you, that ye may love one another.
15:18If the world hateth you, ye know that it hath hated me before it hated you. 15:19If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.15:20Remember the word that I said unto you, A servant is not greater than his lord. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. 15:21But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. 15:22If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no excuse for their sin. 15:23He that hateth me hateth my Father also. 15:24If I had not done among them the works which none other did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
15:25But this cometh to pass, that the word may be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. 15:26But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall bear witness of me: 15:27and ye also bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
The Comforter or Holy Spirit is the law of God in action, and when thought of in this way it appears to have personality. From this truth the Hebrews got their conception of the personal, tribal God.
The functions ascribed to the Holy Comforter or Holy Spirit or Spirit of truth imply distinct personal subsistence: He is said to speak, search, select, reveal, reprove, testify, lead, comfort, distribute to every man, know the deep things of God, and He can be known by man only through his spiritual nature.
(See John 14:25-31 for further interpretation.)